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Vibrio cholerae strains are capable of inhabiting multiple niches in the aquatic environment and in some cases cause disease in humans. However, the ecology and biodiversity of these bacteria in environmental settings remains poorly understood. We used the genomic fingerprinting technique enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus sequence PCR (ERIC-PCR) to profile 835 environmental isolates from waters and sediments obtained at nine sites along the central California coast. We identified 115 ERIC-PCR genotypes from 998 fingerprints, with a reproducibility of 98.5% and a discriminatory power of 0.971. When the temporal dynamics at a subset of sampling sites were explored, several genotypes provided evidence for cosmopolitan or geographically restricted distributions, and other genotypes displayed nonrandom patterns of cooccurrence. Partial Mantel tests confirmed that genotypic similarity of isolates across all sampling events was correlated with environmental similarity (0.04 < or = r < or = 0.05), temporal proximity (r = 0.09), and geographic distance (r = 0.09). A neutral community model for all sampling events explained 61% of the variation in genotype abundance. Cooccurrence indices (C-score, C-board, and Combo) were significantly different than expected by chance, suggesting that the V. cholerae population may have a competitive structure, especially at the regional scale. Even though stochastic processes are undoubtedly important in generating biogeographic patterns in diversity, deterministic factors appear to play a significant, albeit small, role in shaping the V. cholerae population structure in this system.

Original publication

DOI

10.1128/aem.01304-08

Type

Journal article

Journal

Applied and environmental microbiology

Publication Date

03/2009

Volume

75

Pages

1658 - 1666

Addresses

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA. dkeymer@stanford.edu

Keywords

Humans, Vibrio cholerae, Bacterial Proteins, DNA, Bacterial, DNA Fingerprinting, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Water Microbiology, Phylogeny, Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid, Geography, Geologic Sediments, Molecular Sequence Data, California, Genetic Variation